Over £1m damages for motorcyclist paralysed by hospital negligence

July 28, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Media News
A motorcyclist who was injured in a road accident was then paralysed for life by the Nottingham hospital, which was treating him.

Mr David Skinner, age 58, who has just received £1,040,000 in damages, commented: ďThe facts speak for themselves. I went in on crutches and came out in a wheelchair. Iíve got the money but it doesnít mean anything - £1million hasnít given me my legs back. My wife is very bitter about what happened to me.

ďBefore the accident I was very active. We loved going biking, camping and going to rock concerts; I canít do any of that any more. I donít even listen to my music now as it makes me too upset.Ē

After Mr Skinner was hit by a car in a road accident in December 2002, he was admitted to Queenís Medical Centre, Nottingham, for emergency treatment and then transferred to Nottingham City Hospital for an operation on his leg. The operation was carried out after Mr Skinner had a spinal epidural, which Nottingham City Hospital has now admitted was delivered negligently.

Manchester-based personal injury lawyer Stephen Maguire of Donns LLP, who acted for Mr Skinner, said that if the hospital had done its job properly Mr Skinner would still be walking around today and enjoying life to the full.

ďThe case has devastated the whole family, his wife and son will never be able to enjoy their time with him in the same way, his life has been destroyed through the negligence of the hospital. We expect hospitals to make us better, not make us worse.

ď£1 million may seem a significant settlement but when you take into account that he is now paralysed for life and will require a lifetime of care, itís a fair and just sum. He is in constant pain and now needs care, assistance, special aids and new accommodation just to cope with everyday life.Ē

Mr Skinner was hit by a car and suffered a compound fracture to his lower leg, with major tissue loss to the calf muscle and a fracture of his metatarsal bone. The wound became infected, and so he underwent skin, muscle and vein grafts, following which he developed pressure sores and after several attempts his lower leg was amputated. All procedures were carried out whilst under anaesthetic, delivered, in part, through a spinal epidural. During this time, Mr Skinner was also receiving anticoagulation therapy which can carry a greater risk of haematosis.

The case went from bad to worse when, after having the epidural in place for ten days, the hospital discovered that Mr Skinner was rendered paraplegic due to their negligence. As a result, he is no longer able to walk, and lacks control of his bladder, bowels and sexual organs. A professional glass-cutter before the accident Mr Skinner has now had to give up his job.

As part of standard practice for administering epidurals, hospitals are required to carry out checks before starting the procedure to see if the patient was at risk of developing a haematoma due to the nature of the treatment required, namely whether the continued use of anticoagulation therapy increases the risks of the spinal epidural creating a haematoma. They also failed to discuss the risks of surrounding spinal epidurals and anaesthetic procedures. Following the operation they also failed to test his motor reactions.

Mr Skinner, who lives in Bulwell, Nottingham, said: ďIím very pleased with this settlement, Stephen has done a good job and I now want to get back to my day-to-day life. Iím glad the case has been settled, thereís not an awful lot you can say about the hospitalís negligence, the facts speak for themselves, I went in on crutches and came out in a wheelchair!ď


Press contact:
Vicki Baxter, Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506444 vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
or jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Notes to Editors:
Donns LLP is recognised as one of the leading specialist personal injury law firms in the UK, at the forefront of personal injury litigation dealing with claims both in the UK and abroad.

They provide expert legal advice in all areas of personal injury, accident and clinical negligence cases to ensure that they secure the maximum compensation in the shortest possible time. The firm delivers exceptional levels of client service through their highly trained and experienced legal professionals and cost effective approach.

With over 35 years experience in the personal injury marketplace they have an enviable reputation for providing quality legal services. They have attained and held both the Investors in People (IIP) standard in 1999 and the Lexcel quality mark in 2001.

Donns LLP has a legal aid franchise in both personal injury and clinical negligence.

Visit their website at: http://www.donnslaw.co.uk